One way links explained

One-way links are links to your site from sites which do not receive a link from your site.

They send a powerful message to the search engines - that your website is so valuable or interesting or useful that other sites want to tell people about it.

One-way links are wonderful things to have because they increase your link popularity - the number of pages linking to your site. Search engines such as Google place huge importance on link popularity when ranking your site.

You can also receive direct traffic to your site from people who click on the links.

All links to your site are good, but where possible always aim for topic-related links.

Late in 2005, Matt Cutts of Google made it plain in his blog that Google frowns upon sites which "overdo" reciprocal links. Heed his warning and try to make as many of your links as possible one-way links.

Ways to get one-way links

  • Create a useful, interesting web site and other sites will naturally link to it. The vast majority of the thousands of links to THIS site were not requested.

  • Invite experts in your niche to write articles to be published on your site. When they do, they will often tweet about their article or mention it in their blog.

  • Submit your site to major directories, such as Yahoo! and, in the appropriate category.

  • Write articles and submit them to newsletters which are then archived online.

  • Hunt for sites that complement yours and ask them to publish your articles, with a link back to your site - or a page on your site. (You should get links to ALL your good pages, not just your main page.)

  • Submit brief, useful hints to newsletters for the same reason.

  • Submit articles to article directories. You can speed up this tedious work by using ArticleAnnouncer, the tool professionals use. This tactic isn't nearly as useful as it used to be years ago.

  • Publish articles on your site and invite other sites to publish them on their sites, with a link to you.

  • Write testimonials for products you love. Companies often post testimonials on their site with a link to the submitting site. Joe Vitale has taken this tactic to extraordinary lengths. For examples, trying doing a search on Google for "joe vitale +testimonial".

  • Participate helpfully in forums which allow a text link to your site in a signature. Read the forum instructions first, or you risk making an ass of yourself. UPDATE 2009: Many forums now use the rel="nofollow" attribute on links. When you see "nofollow" in the HTML, you'll know that the links don't pass PageRank. On our affiliate forum, we now use "nofollow" links, in keeping with Google's advice to "nofollow" links that we don't necessarily trust. We don't want to provide straight links to spammers and bad neighborhoods.

  • Consider buying text link ads on other sites, for example from Linkadage or Text Link Ads. (Remember that Matt Cutts has written unfavorably about buying links.) Better still, arrange for articles to be published on other sites with a link to your site in them. You may have to use some innovative thinking to achieve this. The results make the effort worth while.

  • Buy ads in newsletters on your topic which are archived online.

  • Locate industry-specific directories and submit your site to them. For example, if your site is on a health topic, look for health-related directories.

  • Give away free ebooks and white papers that contain links to your site.

  • Create simple web-based free software. Tell other sites, newsletters and forums about it and ask for a link to it.

  • Create downloadable software which contains links to your site.

  • Get listed in business directories.

  • Create a blog and get it listed in blog directories.

  • Join business associations which list their members' sites online.

  • Write regular news releases and submit them to topic-related web sites and Internet news wires such as PRWeb and Business Wire.

  • Make arrangements for other sites to archive your newsletters on their sites.

  • Get your white papers published on other web sites.

  • Submit your free ebooks to ebook directories.

  • Submit your downloadable software to software directories, such as

  • Locate a popular site in your niche which would appreciate having you as a regular columnist. Write tips, lively commentary, product reviews, or whatever topics suit your niche.

  • Syndicate your material to other sites. Create a content syndication feed (RSS feed) and include a link to your site. Use PHP rather than Javascript to ensure search engines parse your headings and links.

  • Do something funny or outrageous or brilliant and people will link to your site without being asked. For good examples, see Here are some tips on how to create compelling content.

  • Use gimmicks. If people see something odd on a website, they'll often tell other people about it. You can also alert newsletter publishers and suggest they mention your gimmick in their newsletter. For example, Jim Crawford tells us how to make a sound play with a mouseover.

How to find "nofollow" links

Some links pass "link juice" and help your PageRank. Some don't. The links that don't pass PageRank value have rel="nofollow" in the HTML.

In Firefox, here's how to discover if a link is "nofollowed":

1. Go the web page that contains the link.

2. RIGHT-click anywhere on the web page (NOT on a link).

3. Click on "View Page Info". (In Internet Explorer, click on "View Source".)

4. Click Edit.

5. Click Find. Search for the link. See if it contains rel="nofollow". If it does, it doesn't pass "link juice".

Fortunately, there's a much easier way to find nofollowed links... You can easily check for "nofollow" links by using a free tool called SEO for Firefox. It's a Firefox extension from SEOBook. This free tool also gives you a lot of other useful, competitive data. More than 500,000 webmasters use it.

UPDATED: March 24, 2013
December 19, 2005

Comments (75)

Vijay Gupta
Said this on April 7, 2007 At 04:00 am
It is a common question that how to get one way links to a website and author has replied in a very decent manner. The article author has done a very nice job by including most of the factors that are essential in getting one way links.
more traffic
Said this on July 4, 2007 At 10:53 am
What about sites like this one?
Seems like they have an interesting idea and very inexpensive too...

[The site is clearly selling links. Google asks people to report sites which are selling links. It would be very easy for Google to decide that no PageRank would be passed from this site. To me, this looks more like a gimmick than a sound business idea. If you want to get your links included in articles on other people's websites, I think you need to be a bit cleverer than this. Allan.]
Said this on July 15, 2007 At 04:24 am
What if I hire a person to go and manually post my articles and my company information including the website online on different blogs, chats, advertising sites, press releases, etc., do you think that would help to boost link popularity? Thanks.

[Getting links to your site definitely helps. The quality of the links is important, though. Most blogs won't pass PageRank because of the way the links in comments are structured. You would also need to make sure the person you hired didn't break the rules of any sites where your links were posted. Allan.]
Sam Haynes
Said this on August 13, 2007 At 12:23 pm
Greetings from The Pathfinder
Somewhere, on a long forgotten surfing trip, I ran across the name Allan Gardyne, apparently without hurting him one bit. It has become an itch which has to be scratched. I have printed and bookmarked some of your articles for review later. I recognize useful information and I don't mind the commercial plugs discretely inserted. Very well done!

I am impatient and eager to get some extra income from the net and have made my initial blunders; I was not satisfied with doing it once; I had to pop for two GRQ Programs. Bailed before I lost more than $300. I am not totally stupid, just looks that way. I am approaching seventy six, on SS, physically limited to driving an airport shuttle part time and caring for my wife whose father blessed her with genes for two crippling diseases. I have less than five years to setup terminal nursing and hospice care.

From your articles, and those of other serious writers out there, I have turned my blunders and learned to focus on what works and when to implement the tasks. Thanks, more than I can say.

This morning, about 0200, I put aside your article, picked up a leftover three inch square postit pad (5
pages left) and wrote my first business plan.
Page 1. Find, define five NICHE markets. ASAP MANDATORY!
Page 2. Develop five longtail keyword lists. MANDATORY!
Page 3. Create/Register 5 domains (Keyword)
Page 4. Find Host for one year contract.
Page 5. Create Plan B: Monetize via Adsense and Affiliate programs. Use Associate Programs articles and tutorials as starting point. One step at a time.
It has and probably will continue to be a rocky path for me but I will reach my goal. My hope is that in the process I may be able to encourage some one eles to find their path also. Thanks for your very valuable time in reading this overly long "comment."

[Well done! A good place to discuss your business plan would be on our affiliate forum. Allan.]
Said this on September 5, 2007 At 08:08 am
Really easy-to-use and reliable. Other words are just needless. Thank you for your efforts and your work.
Said this on September 20, 2007 At 04:55 am
This really very good information to get one way links. Each and every points are covered in this content.
Thank a lots for this information.
Said this on October 22, 2007 At 02:00 am
Very Very Thankful For Teaching me in very simple words how to get one way links.
Said this on November 15, 2007 At 03:30 am
A very nice article about one way linking strategies. Looking forward for more such articles.
Said this on February 6, 2008 At 10:33 am
Very Good ideas and comments. Cheers
Said this on March 4, 2008 At 12:28 am
As beginner, your information is very important for me.... to incresae my links. thanks
Said this on March 28, 2008 At 11:19 am
This article is very useful. I'll try some of the suggestions.
Amber Jewelry
Rizwana G.
Said this on May 23, 2008 At 11:35 am
As Marketing Coordinator for a Bollywood Entertainment website I am constantly searching the web for ideas. I loved your article and thought it very helpful. Thanks!
Said this on June 3, 2008 At 07:22 am
thank you for nice post
Said this on July 9, 2008 At 02:29 pm
Thank you, this info was great!
Said this on August 8, 2008 At 05:40 pm
Great article with useful information. Lots of ways to get one way links. Many of the ideas do not come to mind immediately, or are easily thought of. Thanks for sharing your knowledge.
Francis Hesse
Said this on August 8, 2008 At 11:18 pm
Thank you. You have cleared up a lot of questions.
Said this on August 21, 2008 At 03:11 am
Not bad, I'll try to incorporate these ideas
Said this on August 22, 2008 At 10:28 am
Thanks for some ideas.

Servis računalnikov na dom
Said this on September 17, 2008 At 07:30 am
Hmmm.. Some pretty good ideas there. Created my own niche directory just for that purpose - Wonder if people find it interesting enough.

[You could try asking for a site review in the Site Review section of our affiliate forum. Allan.]
Said this on October 13, 2008 At 05:13 am
Thanks, it's really helpful.
Said this on October 20, 2008 At 12:21 am
Don't forget social bookmarking sites, like Eurekster or sites like merchantcircle. They are terrific if not overdone.
Said this on October 27, 2008 At 08:55 pm
Writing articles is a great way to get links because those sites are usually well trusted by Google and have good page rank. Those should be your first market above all. Use the title of your article as your keyword phrase.
Said this on November 8, 2008 At 11:00 pm
Now that the "secret" is out about one way links, two questions:
Will websites tighten up on giving one way links and will google change their method of ranking websites.
Said this on January 8, 2009 At 05:06 pm
cool info
Said this on March 14, 2009 At 02:59 pm
Thank you Allan for these great tips.
Bless you.
Natalija - art for wellness
Said this on March 18, 2009 At 03:33 am
Thanks for you time and some nice ideas.
Said this on March 26, 2009 At 08:41 am
I like this article. I will add it to my client website.
Abby L
Said this on April 9, 2009 At 10:08 pm
It all depends on the type of links you receive.
i was linking with PR3 to and also link back to, now all pages are PR2's because of the wrong links.
Said this on April 14, 2009 At 07:37 am
That a very great article, thank you so much
Said this on May 7, 2009 At 05:37 pm
Mr Crawford really takes the biscuit. This is a most useful and you do not have to pay. Why pay for links ?
Said this on May 21, 2009 At 06:37 am
Thanks for the great Article. People usually says that google likes unique content, does posting our articles on many other sites with link wont effect uniqueness of content?

[My instincts tell me that it is better to post totally different articles in different places. However, what actually works is more important than theory. Many affiliates report getting good results by posting exactly the same article on many article directories. My prediction for the future: I think the quality of the places where you get the links will be more important than the sheer number of links you get. Allan.]
Said this on May 25, 2009 At 12:11 pm
Wonderful info. Your affilate masters course is so helpful to me.
Said this on June 7, 2009 At 09:40 am
Even though originally written in 2005, I believe that many of the points outlined are still extremely valid, making it an extremely informative article.
Said this on June 23, 2009 At 11:21 am
Thanks for this helpful tips. Is this still working until now? What are the other new way of getting traffic to your site?

[Yes, these techniques still work. For more traffic generation ideas, read the free report "77 Ways to Get Traffic", which is free to everyone who subscribes to the Associate Programs Newsletter. Allan.]
Said this on June 26, 2009 At 07:17 am
why would you say participate in your forum for one way links when they are all no follow links?
doesnt make sense

[Whoops! Thanks very much for the alert. I've added a 2009 update to the article saying that we now use "nofollow" links on our affiliate forum because we don't want to provide straight links to spammers and bad neighborhoods. We're taking Google's advice and "nofollowing" links we don't necessarily trust. Many forums do this now. Allan.]
Said this on June 27, 2009 At 10:25 pm
"Consider buying text link ads on other sites, for example from Linkadage or Text Link Ads. (Remember that Matt Cutts has written unfavorably about buying links.) Better still, arrange for articles to be published on other sites with a link to your site in them. You may have to use some innovative thinking to achieve this. The results make the effort worth while."

This is an old post but still valid.

I think one-way linking is the way to go, but I don't advocate buying links. Matt Cutts has been very clear about the practice. It will negatively impact your search returns (ranking) for your site. Is it worth the risk? But if you are hell-bent on selling links, I recommend staying away from the frequent bad neighborhood requesters: gambling, pharmacy and adult.
Said this on July 5, 2009 At 12:25 am
thank you
Said this on September 7, 2009 At 07:23 pm
Great tips for getting back links. Thanks for the sound advice!
Said this on September 24, 2009 At 05:28 pm
Nice thanks
Said this on October 4, 2009 At 11:04 pm
very good article , good about one way links.
Said this on October 8, 2009 At 06:29 am
Cool tips to get back links. Thanks to you.
Said this on October 21, 2009 At 08:04 am
Good article on one way links.
Said this on October 23, 2009 At 11:02 pm
Very good article. It always come down to good content that people are interested in. Thank you for the guidelines.
Said this on October 27, 2009 At 04:19 am
Great article. Very well-written. I am always interested in learning something new with SEO. Seems like you know the ins and outs of link building.
Said this on October 28, 2009 At 11:59 pm
I am going to use this to sell Tungsten Rings, I hope it helps. Thank you,
Mike Walker
Said this on November 14, 2009 At 01:11 am
spencer at says Thanks for the article on one way links! I'm also a newbie and was wondering what all the hype was concerning 2 way and one way links.
I'm using a one way link submitter I found on the Internet for free! Are these free tools very useful? Thanks
Said this on November 21, 2009 At 03:16 pm
very helpful detailed information about one way links.
Said this on December 15, 2009 At 12:20 pm
I want to address the issue of building one way backlinks from a more interpersonal perspective,namely building back links by directly contacting your counterpart.

The truth is that for this method there aren't premade, success guaranteed paths to follow, but some tips are always beneficial.

Instead of sending automated link requests, try to clothe your intentions in a more personal approach:

1. offering your services for writing articles and posts;
2. ask if they agree to intervew them;
3. request opinions on your work;
4. proposing other resources for linking out to in addition to your own pages;
5. always talk in terms of the benefits they'll enjoy by linking out to your content; address their needs.

Thanks for the checklist, Jack! It's the best of its kind I stumbled upon on SEO community!

Said this on January 4, 2010 At 12:36 pm
Great article! It is very informative and complete, it took me a bit of time to think about what I might contribute to the article. My tip is to donate to a worthy cause that also list contributors on their website. Many times they will list your website as well as your name if you ask them. This is a win-win situation; you get a one-way link and they get a much needed donation!
Said this on March 8, 2010 At 04:32 am
This really help. I appreciate for ur information.

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